Lately I've met a few of the de-cured, the folks who were once cured but then went back to alcohol. Some have concluded that the Sinclair Method is overhyped and is not a good long-term solution. It's true that, out of ten who start, only five will be cured at the three-year mark.
This may seem like a coin-flip, but consider how much better that is than with most other approaches. Seven of ten are cured at one year, five of those seven are still cured at three years -- that's much, much better than most other things out there. Yet it does mean that two out of our starting ten will be fully cured and then choose to go back to alcohol and re-develop addiction.
What does this mean?
For me, at least, it means that I should be careful about evangelizing too enthusiastically. Even if we consider only cured people, we should be aware that about two in seven will walk back into the trap. That's not a negligible number.
For me, this came up today when I read someone saying that, two years after quitting drinking (the AA way), he still had strong cravings for alcohol and still had to be careful to avoid triggers. I would have liked to tell him and others that I know a better way, that I have no cravings and ignore things which once were triggers . . . but I thought better of it.
I've met too many de-cured people, and it's bothering me.
I've also met quite a few permanently cured people, of course. More of them, in fact. This highly successful method should be more widely known and practiced, absolutely. But it should be presented realistically, without excessive hype about "88% cured" and "you'll be a happy social drinker."
I haven't fully sorted out my thoughts and feelings on this. I know that the Sinclair Method works very well. I also know that it's sometimes oversold. Perhaps overselling is necessary in order to get it into the marketplace of ideas at all, but that's just not my nature.
I'm sure my ideas will continue to evolve. I'll have a great game plan a year from now. Right now, though, I've taken a step back from spreading the word.